Ahead of starting production in New Orleans this week, Frozen River director Courtney Hunt’s courtroom drama The Whole Truth has added Saturday Night Live alum and famed comedian Jim Belushi to its cast, which is being led by Keanu Reeves and Renée Zellweger. The movie suffered a serious setback earlier this year when star Daniel Craig, then set for the lead role, dropped out right before production was due to begin. Luckily, Reeves was able to climb on board in June, and now the film is again ready to move forward.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) and Gabriel Basso (The Kings of Summer) also have roles in The Whole Truth, which centers on a defense attorney named Richard Ramsay (Reeves), who is defending a teenager named Mike (Basso) charged with murder. The evidence against his client includes a knife with his finger prints and a near confession, but Ramsay remains unconvinced of his guilt. The fact that Mike hasn’t said a word since the day of the crime just adds to Ramsay’s suspicion that something doesn’t add up. Without much to go on, Ramsay turns to Janelle (Mbatha-Raw), a young lawyer also set on uncovering the whole truth about the murder.
Belushi is set to play Mike’s father, while Zellwegger is set to play his mother.
Speaking about The Whole Truth and specifically Belushi’s casting, Hunt said:
“I’m drawn to stories that are as complex as reality, and I gravitate towards actors capable of multi-layered performances, who reveal the chaos and truth of life by reaching for those emotionally unexpected places. I’ve always been a big fan of Jim Belushi and am excited to bring out a side of him audiences haven’t seen before.”
Hunt proved she was a tremendously talented director with Frozen River, which received Oscar attention back in 2008. I’ll be excited to see her follow it up with The Whole Truth, especially given the stellar cast it now possesses.